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·:The.,Elizabeth. Bishop. ButIetin; .a ~~llli-an~ual.·'·
· publication of t h y Elizabeth Bishop' Soeiety; is edited .
· by Gary Fountain, and published .atIthaca College,' with
the gener~u~·suPfl.?rtQfth~. D~an :0 r .the.Colle~e..'
:EliiatJeth ·Bishop:So~ietyAdvisory - Boar d .
, ." ' . .:" " ~" . .,
..Barbara· is .the.' autbor ~f numerous ~chQlarly articles and .
reviews o.n'BIshop';including ·sev.eralthat{{raw extensiVely on .
. the Vassar archive. Shealso.created aweb page for the Society .
(htl:p:i/proj.ec'ts;vassar.edu/bishopiSocieties,htnll) that,isdireCtly'
linked tothe Bishop collections atVassar College: ,B'arbara's .
varied hypertext presentations of Hnks among Bishop manu-.
scripts alldptatedals have been seen at universities !ln9 ~o.nfer.
ences bo.thMtio.nillly a.ndinternationally. , ' .
... Sandra 'Barry, Halif{lx, N ova: SCo.ti~
J a'?'l\)elin~vaughiBrogan,'N otre Dame Uriiv.ers~ty.'"
Ga.ry Fountain (Secieta{y!I're~surer), Itha~aCollege "
. Laura J :Menides, Wprcester Polytechnic InstiU;te
..BarbaraPage,Vassar Coliege .... .. '.
CaffiilleRoman, Washingto.n State'University ,
Thomas Travisano (president), Hartwick Co.llege
Riverside .:
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:.It'is hard to. imagine. the Eliza- ..
beth .Bishop Society without,
.'ThomasTr~vi~ano,. H:ar tW ick C611eg~" '. Barbara's vital encouragement, '
.,' . . ..' . .' . .. ' .. ' andwe are Iookingfcrward to. ..... . .,.'. . .
Barbara Page, Professor of EnglisQ atVassar College and the ." . ..''''.' . . " " :. :."" . '.' .
editor of the Blt z.abet h Bishop Bullet in from 1998-2002; hal> ,.h~r contmuing .. contributlons to Bishop Studies,
, from the beginning been one of'the keyfigures in bolh Bishop. • , . . ' " . .'. ..,
Studies and theBlizabeth Bishop Society: With the falr.:~OO2 '.. ~~EliZab~thBishopBi-Symposium.: "
. issne.under the press Of her. administrative :Quties as A ctmg' '." StevenGinild Axelrod, University of California,
"~e~ of thePacultyatVasaar .Barbarapassedthe.editorshipof ..
the Bullet in ,to.Gary Fountain, Thisnote is anoverdue.and a11-.
too-brief tri~lit.e. •. .' . Avery stimulating bi-symposium onElizapeth Bishop tookplace
, . onJ anuary 9 and H in France; Although the$e were among the
·Barbara's.s~l'~ices to. Bishop Studies began ear ly: and-still coldestdays oftheyear, theconfereqce atmospherewaswarmand
continue. It.was insignificant part through :Bai.'bar~:~advocacy 'the ideaslively; Organizedin& U exemplary fashion by Professors
'th~t theVassar College Library'acquired Elizabeth Bishop's 'J acques Pothier (Univetsite de Versailles-St. QuentinjandAxel'
, papers 'in .~981, at a time when Bishop's, status as'a major. '. N esme (Universite Lumiere-LyonIl), the conference targeted a
.'American poet was by no means' firmly established:' Tho.s.e ',natlonwide' audience of graduate; students preparing for two
papers have-served asapivotal source forBishop Studies ever ' "differentlevels ofcompetitive exams Ieading toacareerteaching
since, 'andmany.budding ni§Mpscholars havebenefitedfrom ",'English. Bishop.itturnsont.was one~fihefeatured.Writers onthe
".: Barbara's personal. adviceandencouragetnent. •.. " ' '2003 exam. StiJ ,dents_seemedattentiveaiidii1forined~an:dl).ottoo
•. ,". . ' , " " '., ' "cr azed by,thehighly cb!llPetitiv~F(>nte~C ' ' ' .
. Barbara was afounding member of the Elizabeth ··B.i~bop. _.
,.So.c~ety., Indeed, the formative meeting of~Ii~S9C,~etYwas_h.eLd. The six American participant~a6rini~ Costello, Laura J e~ ,,'
.in her VlI$sar suite at the December 1991' .MLI\ .in sim'Fran-: Menides, Kathleen Spivat,k, Thomas Travisano, Cheryl Walker, .'
.. cisco. She-served lls amemberof the OrgaP.izing Committee o.f, at;idtnyself=-spoke atboth St. Quentir; (ashort train ride from '
. '.the Society, and' slie continues to,serve.'on i:b .~.SOCiety's .Paris) andLyOn. They'werejoined at St. Quentinby theFrench '
Advisory Beard, Barbara orgauized and chaired-a panel forthe' ,
.American Literature AssoCiatiot).;i;· Symposium. on Wo.me~. ~iiOiiiiiiiii;iiii~.ii!iiiiiiI;;iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii~iiiiiiiiiiili_ "';;;;;;;_ ;;;;;;;;;;"'iiiiiiiiiil
. '. Writers in.San.Antonio in Hie fall of i993.,. She was the .
.: Symposium Director of a'vel;Y successful Elizabeth Bishop .
Symposium held in thefall of 1994 at Va~sal'·Coil~ge, and~b.e'.
appeared onaCBSSunday-Morning segment featuring Bishop .:
that covered .the Symposhim as·.'i),art o(i18' celebratiorj' of
'.. Bishop;s elevation t6 the si:atus of major-p'oet" ". . .'''
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.Spring 2003 .:"A ~LHIe lA.v..t~oIt:I.·(;I~l:ivtttl ()O~~~,j' . :.
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· .t T h e !E (iz a 6 e tfi 1 j i s h o y ~uaenn.....
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SaraMeyer (University of-Haifa) contributed a.meditation on.
"Bishop's Poetics of Site." She hypothesized thatsites destabilize
place. Although Bishop, Unlike Coleridge, always remains sepa-
rate from her observed scenes, she does at times commingle
observationwith self-referentiality, as in "Poem!' .. . .
scholars Myriam Bellehigue and Axel Nesme, arid the Israeli: Poet Kathleen Spivack. spoke with fervor aboutBishop's dual
·scholar Sara Meyer. InLyon, the French participants wereIoanny . tendencies to "Conceal/Reveal," Lowell introduced Spivack to
·Moulin, Genevieve Cohen-Cheminet;Denise Ginfray; and Lacy Bishoptwice=firstas an admiredfellowpoet andiater asafriend .
-".Rumsey, (I was unfortunately unable to hear orread Rmnsey's . . One deyinclass, Lowellanalyzed "The Man Mo.th." Hisaual:y§is
. paper, entitled "A Poeticsof Deferral, ~Prosody ofSaiisf'actiDn: . suggested that the poem reveals the vulnerability of a poet, of
Mapping Bishop 's Ambivalences,") Th¢ papers at this bi-sympo-. Bishop herself AlthoughBishop wrote aguarded poetry, she had
. siumamountedto a vigorous conversation about 'a poetwho I S , . . agift for friendship. Spivack speculated that her asthmawas a
dearly becoming a global "phenomenon."· . form of suppressed crying, anexpression of grief. " IntheVillage"
, , describes a tear turning into a "scream.' "Orie' Art," Bishop's
Thomas Tiavisano (~ick College) inttoducedbOth confe» •. masterpiece, emphasizes two polarized impulses: the urge to
, ence sessions with apaper entitled "Elizabeth Bishop: The 'M ak~ '''master;' and-the'fear of "dis astel'.'. i . . . , .
·ing of aMajor Poet "After describing Bishop ~srise inreputation,
he traced the arc of her career=from early self-enclosed texts 'Cheryl Walker (Scripps CoU~ge) examined "Bishop and the.·.'
(sUcha:~"ThetJ nbeliever")topoeri:lSn:io:reOpentoexperiellceiuid . Problem of Religion." Bishop's correspondence includes' anti-
the larger world (such as "Seascape") to p6¢tiy that' focuses :on "religlous comments, butshe also admired thewritings of'Herbert,
personal or public histocy{such as "first Death inNova Scotia") .. , Hopkins, and St. Augustine. Christianity exerted a powerful-if '
Travisano concluded by speculating on the factors contributing to ' . troubled hold OVerherthroughour her life, "Miracle atBteakfast" .
Bishop's current high stature, These include a shift in the critical alludes to the Eucharist.though Bishop claimed to be unaware of
paradigm, the emergence of new poems, and the slowassimilation . it. "Roosters," "Over 2000 Illustrations," and "Atthef'ishhouses"
of Bishop's oeuvre. . . .. . , .. ... . . 'iria~ifestan approach/avoidance relation to Christianity, Bishop
.could neither quite accept itnor leave, it alorie. Walker suggested
-that Bishop' spoetry gains richness when placed inUtecontext of
adynamic.religious tension,
'LaU,ra J ehn Menidi)S (Worcester PolytechnicInstitute) spoke
abont'Bishop's eye, ear, and mind thinking, She focused on the
ekphrastic elements in such poems as "The Bight," "Over 2000
AxelNesme Wnive.rsite Lyon II) spoke about "Dots, Specks and Illustrations," .and ~'12O'Clock News"-the distinctive manner
Stains" in Bishop's poetry. Alluding to. theoretical work by: inWhiChtheyproVideY erbalrepresentations'Qfpictorialrwresen-
Costello, Lacan, and.Zizek, he focused on moments when dots 01: .. tations, This talk was notable for its teacherly and warm-hearted
stains spread out, becoming eroticized and disrupting dichoto- approach to-thestudents in the audience. ,
·mies. This .discassion of alternating light. and opacity ledto a
.consideration of Bishop's eye imagery. Bishop identifieswiththe ' I myself-spoke aboutt'Bishop's Heterotopias." Heterotopia is
· .. gaze in"Poem,' but she cannot isolate or become one with it She Foucault's term for an;~'otherspace" that complexly reflects and
establishesa complicatedkinship among Writing, painting, and . contests more normative public and' private spaces. Examples,
what Lacan would call the "laying downof the gaze." . would include a library, garden, brothel, carnival, or ship. This
. paper.explored .Bishop's quest: for such counter-sites in her
Myriam Bellehigue.(U:(1iversitePar isVIII) provided arrilluminat- " personallife and insuehpoems as "PIDkDog," l'Tlie Monument,"
ing .close reading of "Crusoe in England," She suggested that . and "The.Fish," .If also speculated that Bishop madeher texts
Crusoe maintained a sensual relation to his islaQd""':':auniverse.in '. themselves into subtly resistant imaginative spaces ..'The~e lin-
'. c.o1 l1 ltant ~no~o,nto which he has c?n,st~tly to readapt, Ctt~~e. ,guistic sp~ces, ,,:,~ch might be ~~e~ "heterotropias," pe~~nn:
· evokes B1Sh9P sown story by 9penl1lghimself upjouewexpen- . ,cult!ll:al and pohtic;alwork thatls slmdar to that ofheterotoplas.
· .'~nce, confusing and reyersing home .and its opposite, and' en4~· .: ..' ..' '., .' . ..
l¢ssly revish'lg his)ife. ' . '. 'J oanny MQulin (Universite de Provence). !lpoke about "Bishop
, ". . . .. ... . ,.. . .., ~d the Extimacy ofEveiyday Life;" deriying her ~ey t~mi:from
Bomiie Costello. (Boston Universi,ty) presented' an insightful' ..
~tudy cif."Bl,·sh,opand the Art ofstni Li.fe." Alluding'to. Susan.' . LacaAJ s;l}otionofanefCtema1inti:tnacyor?Xtimit~.Mou1in'spap~r
.focused on the a'!.1tOfOUS. empathy for the outside"world tltat rriarks
Stewart's On' Longing, . she ,emphasiZed. Bish.oP' s atientiQri io' so.inaQyofBishQP' spoems. Like Nesme, Costello, and Menides,
. ql1cestions of scale and her dislike o.f gigantillni. Bjshop's poeicy . Moulin noted Bishop' ~elqlbiastic impuls.~, whereby rtatural
·uses. still life t() ~v'oke .arrangements and derangements in. her· ,
personal life. But such poems remain "rhopographie.s" as we}i, landscapes tiunout to be pictorial: represen~ations. The image of
commentaries oll ordinary reality, th~lamps and magazines in .. wading, in s~ch POen1S as "Wading at Wellfleet" and "Pleasure
" In the W iitingRoom" suggest apoetics of material cultUre, the Seas," epitoinizes Bishop's delightin' the oceanic feeling, her·
intricacies of class existence ..The decor in "J efQnimo's Houstr' ... t?ying with the,dissohition of the self into the other, arid her effort .
reveals the riches in an impoveri~hed scene. Bishop's use ofthe ' to write herself into the world.
still life oscillates between condescension and empathy, intimacy; , .
and respect. .. Genevieve· Cohen-Cheminet (Universite Paris IV) explicated
S pring 2003 . . . VolumeI t), NUmber 1 . The Elizabeth Bishop Bulletin
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A Rare Flower
SamMosher andKendra Scaletta, IthacaCollege . .
. . . . . . Our prepared literary questiOns were useless ·that evening,
Four years ago, we Wereintroduced to Eliza6~th Bishop. the" Carnien's enjoyment of the eveningseemedto hinge on her
poet quick Iybecameastaple inourpleasure- reading canon and 'personal connections with the dinner party, rather than" on .
"One,Art" was our naive remedy for college heaitbrea(t. Asthe exploring her presentation. rhis prioritization of emotional
· years progressed and our adolescence (we :hbpe)·waned; ..rather then intellectual pursuits seemed almost foreign in the
, Bishop's poems were pushed to the sidelines torti~k~w ity f~r academic arena of nigher education.It was quite refreshing to
.. ournewest literary obsessions, such as Oscar WildeandEdna .. talkto.someone so grounded, intelligent, andyet spperson&ily
St. Vincent MiUaY.Bishop.however, was nceonetobepushed . investedin.our' lives, Such 1 1 combination israre indeed.
·tothe side. Neither of us would have expected to encounter .-
Bishop inour Romantic-Victorian Literature class; but-that is.: At"our parting, Carmen tightly embraced each of us while
exactly where Wewere reunited, It WMinthis instance ·thatour . exclaiming how wonderful we were and. how successful we
admiration for thepoet wasrenewed, duesoleiytb the-inspiring .:w o u l d be. ·Ag~n; w ewere overwhelmed by her generosity of
words, and spirit of Bishop's vibrant biographer, Carmen spirit and touched by her kind words. th~experience of
Oliveira. ' . , ... . meeting Carnien was truly apleasure, and weare both honored
· to. have shared an evening' with such a ' woman, such arare
Carmen Oliveira came toIthiea College to discuss her beok. flower. .. .
Rare and Commonplace Flowers: The Story ofBlizabeth . r--"-----..,.., ----- ... --.....;..-.....;..-...;....,.....---.
Bishop and Lota de Macedo Soares. Our professor, Gary . . BishopSymposiuffl in Cancun
Fountain, was looking for interested students to. interview .. ..December 2003.
Carmen after her lecture, and our adoration ofBishopmad~ u s ' ..See page 6/
willing participants, We.cam~ with 'alist of provt,cativeques-
tions toask Carmen over dinner, hoping to impress her with out
brilliance and thorough research. The list, however, .never
emerged.... .
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·"Wading atWellfleet." Onceagain thenotion of ekphrasis d~mi- .
nated the analysis, suggesting perhaps anewturU in Bishop
·studies. Arguing that the clarity of thepoem's images contrasts
withthe poem'sopacity of meaning, thispaper emphasized the
..poem's quality.of disorientation (for example, thetitle: does not
. match the poem) and its aesthetic ofgrafting (through 'useof Carm~n was ~othirig like the typical lecturer we had been
. quotation and allusion, whichhybridize times anddiscourses); ... accustomed to; There were lively music and colorful photo-
·"Wading atWellfleet" suggestathatthe valueofpoetryresides not graphs, rather thanasterilePowerl'oim presentation. She was
in its power toact onthereal butin itsRower tointerpretit.W ha t' . laughing. and' improvising, rather than droning a prepared
makes p~etry indispensable isits ability to Counter history.With script.Herpresentation wits fluid, like the music she played,
powerful yetself-eoaacicusly limitedimaginativefragments andas flery aSJ h~ sals~ dances she.performed. There··were
..bawdy andunexpected jokes hidde~ behind her thick accent, .
Denise Ginfray (Universit<}deSt..Etienn~)spokeabou~';Bishop'~. and personal storiesof Bishop that went. far beyond what w e
Art ofTrompe~ro~il." Thispaper.explored the tensionsamong· had learnedjn class. Carmen truly brought Carnival wtth her,
linguistic codes, human perceptions and emotions, andwhat lies while. providing. insight into' the passionate relationship". of
just beyond perception arid felt emotion, Bishop sometimes . Bishop-and Lota. . . .
adopts a technique of tricking the eye to promote atheory.of
pleasurebasedonallthesenses,inc~udin:g_soimd. "Pleasure Seas," T,he dinner conversation briefly touched upon her lecture; .
withits shifting perspectives, combines pictorial space with the .. however, Carmen wanted toheal' about our passions instead of
linguistic scene, exposing frictions between visuality and its ' talkingabout herself. She seemeduncomfortable i~the role of
verbalfram~.Itexposesthecapacity.ofsignstocreatepattemed di~iinguished scholar and made every attempt to keep the
worlds of their own. Bishop's poems, in their artificiality and conversation casual andrelaxed. While moving her shoulders
complexity, becomeQpticalinstrutnents~vitingth~1 "eadertoread thy~hmi_cally, Carmen sang traditional Brazilian songs about
lifeotherwise. . ..... laughter .music, and thepleasures of food. She challenged us
.. .. to listen to music with OU]' entire bodies and not simply our
These papers highlighted a variety of approaches to~~hop; minds, Carmen urged us to dance while makingdinner, sing
including thetopographical, theekphraStic,the linguistic,andthe .. anywhere and everywhere, andlive loudly and passionately .
. med1 tative;ManyofthepaperswilIappeatina,~olumetobe.edited To Carmen, arranging flowers herself was much Inoresatisfy-
by Axel Nesme. They testify to thecontinuing vitality=-and'the iug than buying a perfectly constructed. bouquet, for she
seductive mystery=oflsishop's work toreaders onbothsides of enjoyed the tiny. imperfections that most loathe. Her calm
theAtlantic. . . . energy andquiet exuberance'were infectlous, and her delight
·for life was present inall aspects of the evening, fromher love
. . of theambiance toher creme brulee. Shewas often silent, but
·when she spoke.there was akindness easily visible inher-eyes
and her warmsmile. . . .
.Spring 2003 Volume 10, Number 1 The Sliz;abeth Bishop Bulletin
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As w i th , aU such ::·publ~cati oh s, :Di vi si ons. o j t h e He art li~th~
strengfh .sandw ea).qi essesofl, ll1yproceedi ngspubli cati un-i toffers.· Lorri e Goldensoh n, Vassar College
an unusually w i de arrayof i nteresti ng andfrequer, .tly new i nsi gh ts .. ·1I-!it fce M t t y Quart e t .; Bish o p,Lo we ll, j arf~ll, Be ~ryman; .~ndt h e
i nto Eli zabeth Bi sh op, both as poet and person, and yet th e essays. .'M aking o f'.a Po st mo de m Ae st h e t ic by 'Ih omas Travi sano,
· areuneven.rangi ng atti mes fromextended ri ot~stQ majorplenary Ch arlottesvi lle: U Vjrgltli a'P' 2003; 3 I 8pp., plus i ndex .
. ' summati ons; ':Th at sai d, " th i s new collecti onsI;lfess.ays, w h i ch . . .. ' '. .... . •. . • "
. follow s from th e 1998symposi um h eld a t" Acadi a Uni versi ty in? Th e most'fortunatedeci si on th at Th omas Travi sano bas taken i n
. 'Wolfvi lle, Nova Scoti a, h as i partlculat focns and enexgy th at· h i s new study i s to present his four poet.r~Eli zabeth Bi sh op,
make th i s book not merely w orth readi ng, buralso certa, i Ply w orth : Robert Low ell.Randall J ~lli and J oh nBerryman-e-i nsi multa-
. '. .ow ni ng, Tb, at i s, w h er~s lh ave persori any alw ay~ been draw n to' .neo.usQrder, sldllfuUyw eavi ng-lo_geth erth e "narrattv.eof th en: li ves
th e.ni sh QP of BrazilrDiVt Sio ns o ft h f! Heari co!lvrnci ngly locates .'and .th e comnl9n f~tUTes .·ofth ei r w ork:, rath er !ban to g, ve U&"
Bi sh op ~s"Art of Memory andPlace" i n th e north e~n clli neS and di screte. ch apters ort fi rSt th e one and th en th e oth er of h i s poets.
· nQlth ern fami ly ()f h er .early ch i 1<J }J :ood. Sap.dfallarry' s exqui si te .. A.s~result, h e h as gi ven ti s an i quneOselyvi tal and readable book
.. "Fami ly album, ~A Ph oto' Essay, " w h i ch , repr.oduces-over forty· i n w h i ch i ltall ti mesw eh ~ve b¢foreus th e dynami ~ spectacle of
.. '. pi ctures of Bi sh op's early llomes anderelati ves"concreti zes th i s . parallelli yes and i i nked ru.ti ~trY ; ." .
, n~w~ense'ofBi sh ()p~s i magi nati on as one ~verretu\ni ng to w h , ~ '. '. ". .
·:pi -crveto h ave been 'rell)arkably' ri ch , if mysteri ()I)$, years rath er ', ' Ci ti ng Elli ottCarter's d¢Scri pti o~ oftl;J .e"foUr-w ~y ~01\versati on'" .
'. .th an ones of mere ~utna. In certai n wiys, th ebook i ssometh i ng' of tne'. ch l, lffi !>er.musi c' qu~t. as th e'model: for'. h ls approacb,
ofa collectors' i tem.' . ., . .' .. ' '. - Travi sano.sh ow sh ow each oftbesepoets ptovi ded~'~i sclplesli i pl '.•
c<unpani Qnsh i p; and coOfrontati on'.'·i n alternati ng'and essenti al
Gi ven th e book's ti tle, th ~~ssays areneatly di , vi d~i nto'tw o major . mea.sure tpth e oth ers. In so domg; th ey not only a~si st!!:4each .
se(, (ti ons, w i th si ngle-e&say secti ons both begi nni ng and corw lu~- - :oth er ~ produclng <;anoni c~i w ork butruso lefttracemar~ oveqi ll
·jng th e WOlk.·.Aftefth e ~di tt>r&"i ri tro~ucti on, A, nne$te, vel1ll.·f1lls.· .th e··poetsnow s\lCceedi ng th em. In li fe anq inpoetry, movi ng.
Qut'i h ~' secti Qn: l:ler Ow :n'~rodiga t,' w i th ''Tlle (1eQgcaph i cal . :': tow ard'''!! r~~li ency of pei "si stenc~, recuperati on, ; &ndjffi agi ti ~ti .ye
·.¥i rror. ".EJ eyeli eSsays foIi ow i nth e.~cti pncalledPlaCe/MemOry, . grpw i h , " th e, se poei ~create, ' i n. Ttavi sapo's . w ords, "a ri sJ (y,
only to by fo)1t>w edby alJ , o~h ereJ eve.1!essays In th¢secti on-th e Art. p, ai nful;' a11.d·. unCertai n poetry o f .pr~ th at explores. c.rlti Gal.
· of Di vl.slon, , Gary FQuntai n rounds th ~c~llecti on out~r rath er, 'momeri t;s' i n th e li ves of s~lf-di vi ded' i i ll;li yi dmi ls ~tr"uggli ng to...
stl'e~ch es.i t, i n new di recti ons--w i th "Bi s!1op; s Poeti cs qfNati onal· . survi ve ap.4re~bvef i n th '~face of trallInadc loss.'~Wh i le .much .of. .
·Identi ty, " th e si ngle essay compri si ng th e se~ti onBorderlari ds', .As' . -th i s poetry bi li lds' .. ob a modemi $t temporal. di sjUlIci ti ori , ..i t.s .
th i s si mple descri pti on of contents sh ouldm*eclear~th e h ook h aS. . postmodem. i ngenui ty .li es 'm adapti ng i ts predecessors ~w ays to
· been, c~fully ;'even h bUsti cally organi zed, Wi tp i ri i .portantcontd~ . tradi ti onal narrati ve devi cel!, Each poet made of h er or h i s w i de'
. , buti ons by h eW, as w ell as ·w «ll-kri ow n·B.i ~h oti sch olars.' , . ::...learni ngasoph i stk, a.ed tech pi queth atremai ns stlutli nglyi nnova-
. ." ". '.' .... '. •. . . '. . : '.'ti ve; all of the m advan.Gedch i ldh ood aod self-creati on as subject, .
· Alth ough i ti s obvi ously' i mpossi ble to sUnUnai i ze or even llstth e' . '.and 'each ~t di fferently transfotnl!i !d th e postmodern elegy. .
tw entY ":"tw o~ssays.tli atoccurbetw ~i i Steveri sori 'sandFountai Q's~ '.' . '. ... , .' .. , " '. . ..•.. .. , •. . ..
I w ould li ke. to·call. attenti on to .~everal th at 1found parti ~ularly. " Th e fui ti ai fuskof M idce nt ury Quart ¢t i s to e~tabnsh i nterrelati on
compelli ng. "At Home i n tlleLi ttle Rooni s of -'Sesti na'" offers 'a .a~~common pui pose as afact of quartet li fr;\ andth ell bri skly to'
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. ,t h e lflizabe t h B~s}io l?BUile t in. Vo lu'me 10, Numbe rI' . . Spring 2003
•'.'ffi i zabeth Bi sh op Sodetyarth e SSAWW :..•. s~Osi ti v((; clo~, . and ~te .~alys~:of th lsfreq'ti ~~i 1Y ~th Ol~- .'.
.' . .' September2003"" ; . gi zedpoem, w i th attenti on to detai l and cra fttha t th e auth or,
.' . '..... .., .' '.' ..' . .. J efferyDonaldson,h as. clearlybrough t tobear on th e poem from
Ci uni lle Roman cWi lslli ngton State Uni versi ty) ~i ll eh <$' apanel .i , pi s ow n ski ll as a'poet' h i mself. Andre Purlani 's -di scusai on of
· on, Eli zabeth Bi sh op and th e Vassar Experi ence at th e. a nnum . , :ai sb.~p, ? ~prose pi ece " Inth ~ Vjllage" puts i n conjuncti on a
conference of th e Soci ety for th e Study o f Ameri can Women' surpri si ngly w i de array of poeti c antecedents w i th th e expected
Wi 'i ters ipF01t Wd1~h , .TexaS on September 26; 4003, 2:25-~:45' h .an:o~ng. tragedi es of h er (ari dh er moth er's) early years -..In a
· PM. Papers and parti ci pants are "Defi ni ng Art inth e 1930s: si mi lar vei n, Glen Robert om 's eompari son'of "Th e Fi sh ". to
Bi sh op and Her Rebel' Si sters at" Vassar, " Beth any Hi cok North ropFrye's "Royal Metaph or=offers an unexpected m i~
~estmi n*r College); "lH~h opand Edna St. Vi ncent Mi llay;" . deli gh tfulmyth i canalogue to a poem I a m usually Incli nedto see .
· Ch eryl Walker (Sori ppsCollege); "Bi lli e Ho1i d~y&Oth er.Stars., 'as , a.speci fi c: parody of h er w ell-know n contemporary; Ernest
.,Bi sh op w i th Loui se Crane, " C~i lle Roman; and : "Bi sh op's. H~i ni ngw ay' -. Otl:ler major essays i n th e volume i nclude Lorri e .
· Ecocri tlclsrn and. tli e Vassar Ci rcle, " .J ason Mi ller (Wash i ngton. .'Goldensoh n's "Th e Homeless Bye, ' "Encoded Les bi an Identi ty": .
State Uni verslty). .: ' .. r , , ••• , • .'. :: • .": ••• ;' • ·byCrysta1B~con, aQ.dPetel'.SangerISfasci nati ngGOlllpari $(mof··
. .' . . . Bi sh op's "burni ngboy" i o ch i i dh ocdreaders populari n sch ools
., ..' R ... . duri ng'Bi sh op'sformari ve readi ngyears. Th ererue, tn."fact, many
'. eVlew , ..
.. . . . .:.... '. . oth er such treasures to befound i n i h i s new w ork, maki ng.i t one;
. J acqueh ne V ~ugh t Brogan, l!mverslty of Notre Dame . I h i gh ly recommend among .th e now many new 'and i mportant ..
·Divisio ns o j ih e He ~rt : Elizabe t h Bish o p and.t h e 41't o !M e mo i)," .. ' books ? rtBi sh op t9-'h a;:e .appearedfnth e las~decade, .'.
and Place , edi ted by Gw endolyn Davjes~Sandra Harry, and Peter .......' .. '. '. '.' , '. '. . . ..... •. .'
Sanger. Nova Scoti a; GaspereauP.ress, 2bb2;.S:1$pp" plus i ndex. . .' . . .
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, Regina Przybycien.Universidade Fed~ral d~Parana
: Whil~layi~g outth~ I nadequacies ofthe "confessional' tas a~bric, '
" for autobiography, Travisano makes allimportantoorrection. He
not only indicates theextentof' Lowell' sdebt toElizabeth B ishop, "
as her" A nll' adilla" taughthis "SJ cun.kHotii" theblendofhistorical. G oneare the days when ifirst started my research on Elizabeth
and personal inte~ity that would melt away the rhetorical stiff- ' ,B ishop in B razil in the late 1980s; when the typical reaction to
ness' encasing $0much of his early work,J but also demonstrates. my questions was, "Elizabetchy quem ... T" Since.then, shehas
how B ishop did not, '1lS most critics assume, merely follow' , ' becbllle fairly well known it. tqis country, A considerable
,Lowell' slead in Life, Studiis by using personal material, and so ' amount of ,scholarly research has been done, resulting in a
deepened her range ,in the subsequent GeographyIll, but rather ' steady flow of theses and dissertations in:B tazilian universities.
,;:I nt:!-cipatedLowell' s practice. Lowell took his first signlficantly " ' Moreover, important-workhas been published, not.te mention,
autobiographical steps by imitating B ishop' s, direct and' open,' the fact that most of,)J .~l'poetry and prose is now available in- "
•encounter. with childhood, in her memoir-story "I n.the Y Hlage.", "PorfugueSe thanks to,the very competent translations of Paulo
,"Not: only "The A rmadillo" but also B ishop' s memoir. prose' - ' Henriques B ritto, Marta G oes.' splay' UmPorto Para Elizabeth,
, ' pointed the way' for Lowell, ' Throughout their lives, of course, , . Bishop, which had its premiere in' theCuritiba Theater Festival
, , each' of the fOUTPoets profited from. close attention to the, other ' ii12001 andlater toured sever-al B razilian cities.made herbetter
~~ and TravisanQis.' faithful to. the complexities of these known, albeit superficlally.ito :ati audience not restricted to "
exchanges, ' " ' " "academic circles. G oes' sscript was published by Editora' Terceiro
, , . ~~~~k ' ' , , '
Thestrength of M idc en ,tury QUartet lies ~ I tslivelyevocation of
' poets' and poems' inceaseless dialogue, S uP P o~ by, a deep B utall of this h~s already, become oid,l:iistqry" and I have been "
" " kilowledg!( of archival material fot each ofthent, an!!qrawihg on ' askedto write about recent WOrkdQnein Sl;!izil. Oneof thl;)most ,,' "
d~aft&,e~says, and correspondenc~ With,lllH::asy"co!llfOrtable;' and,' irliportant recentPublic~tion~, is Th~AN o/plizabeth Bishop
impeccably exercised authority~Travisaho is inhis;el~ment, To' ' (Editoj:~.uFM;G ..' 2002)., Edit~d by Sandra Regina Oo~tlart de
, chose two .among many such, he offers particQI ariy Close an9' ' A lmeida, ~fat:, it:assembles some of the works presented at Th¢ •
, ,absoi' bing ~ccounts o~Raridl.\l( J arrell;s "Siegfi:ied' ; and ' I TJ 1e " I nterii._ational CQnfei-ence, ~d, Cetebra{:ao in":B razil that took,
,W oma,n at the Washington, ZOQ," ,fittmg theSe ' poems cOllvinc~ " p~6e in Ol.l~O~reio ' in 1999; including die lectures by novelist ,
irigly into an oyer~l historical framewor.k of cultural and psycho- ' Silvlimo' ,Santllig,o and ' literary' critic }ielen Vendlel' . ' , ' ,,' ,'
logical concerns, while at the same tiniemanaglrrg to scatterfresh ' ' " ' " '
, insight over well-klloWn passag«s;" Pa~lo ' -Heriri~~eS' ~ritto, lias' writiel;l. ,a v~ry evocati,ve:, (;md ' '
, " "",' ' ' , ,,", ,,' pri:)Vocati.ve)' es~y abou~his experience of translllting B i,shc,>p;s
Y et trying to estal;>lish what is distinctively postmodem is not' work I nt.o' Portuguese. This ~ssay, entitled "My Six Y eal' ~with"
easy: "d1.~damned elu' sive term, postmodern ism," Travisano , :Elizabetb;B iSbop,"isavailabJ eatwww.angelfiie,eom/ah6/phbrittq; ,
, s.ays; ~ passing. He cites J arrell and J ohn crowe Ransom in the' , A piece abollt "Cirque d' Hi:ver," entitled ;' UmPO~Ola' d e
, ' 1940' s-4hey, ,too,: inthe most hilPlessly' general way, "used' :' B lizabethB ishop," hils just been published in the collection of
"postmodein' " siil:tPly to ~ean coOlirig after t:l:J e:,model.l1.$,or eS !iay s, Votes Femin in (ls: Gen ero, M ediar;i5es, e Priitic as de.
following on the heeis , o f those whom LOwell in his elegy \' For ;esc rita, ,edited by Elora SusseI drtd; et,al. (Rio ,d~"J aneiro: 7
J ohn gell' y~an" ~alled "orirgal~xy of grands maiu-es.' " I nexpla: " Letras, 2003.). , " '
"nation of llOW.his qua,rtet treats the, suffering of ' individilala '
differently; Tl'a\li~iinobrings ()1l ' l' .S.Eliot' ,s unfol1unatetemarks ' , MariaLuciaM}lleo Martinll, besides the essay "tourist ,I l Tamed
dispose ' of contemporary .additions to the group, ~¢ Theo,do~ tor~iveye~an~therairing,~Eiicit' sQommerit8fUmishllleatfor
Roethke andDelmore Schwarz" From his group of foOt;' which" "the familiar.I nvidious comparison between impersonal' modems
intere~tio:gly enough; includes-two suicides, Tia-VisanoexQlu(J es' . and personal ~odems." , " "
Rgetbke and,Schwarz, nat only because the work of neithei poet , , ,
' " ev.er gained the full respectof all of his quartet; but ' also because "' I ilere is no ' doubta.sound argument behind the generalities that"
, .nehherpoetaccelerated orexpandedindevelopmenc bothkoethke Thomas' I ravisano proposes to:~tthese.poetic generations apart; , '
and Schw~ stalled or faded at the end , Randall J arrell in the yeftl16geJ l~tiesrestup.easily withinthe abundant wealthofthe ,' ,
,poems of TheLost J ford,ElizabetbB .ishop inGeography III, J OhI l' .discussion of individual poems and lives th~t make up the better
,B erryman inThe Dream Son gs,1U' id even Robert Lowell, rewrit- fare; the reasoned substance of this book, ' Charting the habits of
, ingthe same book oyer andover in Notebook I, N o i e b ~ kiI, a~d ,,autobiographical reference, and the-mysterious, shaping ' inven-
then agaiilillHistory, triumphed~ntbelatephases oftheircareers, tionthat accompanies memory 6f"the' deoied orthreatened child, "
the embaftled adolescent; the bereaved, imperiled, ' or disordered
: The secondand more massive theoretical operation ~l!l(ppe~s , ,adulf' e-and "dramatizlng that individual' s problems of knowl-:
, M tdc en tury Quan e: .is to force the .rernoval.of. "confessional, edge, identity, traumatic loss, and repressed or otherwise U~-'
poetry" out of critical usage.Travisano identifies' , five major ' solved feelingsof isolation; confusion, anger, and grief",:-be- ,
pl~oblemsadhering,tOtheconfessionalpaiadign;l,ashereLenti~sly comes a t:rUly,:~u,ffident focus. Tirdess' heapirigs of abstract' , '
exposes the futility of its embrace, arid remonstrates against, the" assertion about the postmodem, against tile shadowy evocations
unsuitability of applying itto his quartet, I nLowell' s words; "To' of' tliemodem, do not work' nearly aswell in this"book ~sthe til&k '
rnake thepQem:possi:bleahu.ge amountofhealth has to go into the that Travlsano makesfar more compelling, which is to deal with
misery." " :: ' , ..' ,' these four large talents and their brllliantintersectien. '
., .". . . '".
Sptin g2003
, 'Voi~m~,10,Nun ib~r 1
irh~ Elizabeth Bishop Bulletin
6.
. ALA symposia provide opportunities for scholars to meet inpleasant settings, present papers, '
, .. andshareideasandresourCeS, . '
..'www .americanliteratnre.org
. "
"The Hotel Presidente Inter-Contlnentel jsofferirig itspecial rai,e()f$100 plus ~ (about $20). Call 1-800-447-6147 and
request theALA group rate, This special rate will be,availablefor threedays before and. after theconference. " '
. , . ; .: Program space is very lirrilted. .,
,.;Deadlinefor PrQlJ OsalsandPapers: September 15, 2003
. .. '. . '. " ". .
-: :Conference Fee: -$75'. '
. . . . . '.' ." "
, . -TboinasT:favisarto;ConfereneeDiiecto_r"
Department of E"glish and Theatre Arts ,
, '; -,- . ~artWi",k'College, .' .' ' '
,, . , Oneonta;;NY ~3820'-40iO: '
'travisan4J t@bar~ck.edli ,
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.:Proposals for informal panel discussions, roundtables, and.poetry: readings, eto., aswell as fortraditional .. ·
, fonnaLpaper presentations, a re. encouraged andshould be sentto . .
,:,.-. .'. .
Th~conference directbrwel~o~es p~opd~ais'for pape~~or sessions.exploring the poetElizab~th Bishop and her various
"worlds,' Theseinclude notonlytheartistic worldsh~fwtitilig'creates_bui: also-thevariousgeographicallocations andpoetic,
. and artistic circlesin Which shemoved. as well as. the Writers,artists, andcomposers who.influencedher andwhom she '
influenced. Papersmight also explore the various newly defined, worldsof'discourse inwhich.her poetry isactively being , '
. placed, including gender, politics, sexuality, postcolonialism, and postmodernism, Papers, exploringthese various worlds
need not speciflcally center onBishop. For example.papers focusingon her fl1 a ny poetic neighbors, friends, andrelations
would be most welcome. . ... " .
. . "_". . . "_.
December: il-14; 2003',.
~otei Presidente Inter-Continental
. Caneun, Mexico· -
Am~rican Literatu~eAssoci~tio~Syttlpqsium
Elizabeth Bishopa ndHer'Worids
-e .
Surrender, Poet's HumblestStirrender" that appearsinThe A r t a Lambda Award, Neil Besner i~forins·me that the book is
of Elizabet h Bishop, has published "Carlos Drummond de coming out inpaperback (Rutgers UP) in September this year.
. Andrade eElizabeth Bishop: 0 Operario no Mar e0Hortelao" . . ..... ,', .
.., in 0Eixo e aRada, edited .byLysley de Souza Nascimento, et In the xX X II SENAPULLI, aconference.that gathers profes- .
.. al.: (Belo Hol'izonted?ALE/UFMG; 2002): Her book Duas : sors of English literatures in Brazil, held in the city of
.A r t es ; a comparative study of Elizabeth Bishop and Carlos Floriariopolis in April 2003; Maria Clara Bonetti Paro pre-
Drummond deAndrade, isexpected to bepublished this year. .. sented apaper entitled ,"A Terceira Margem rio.Modernismo;
, . .Elizabeth Bishop," 'the conference offered the chance for a
Silvia M~G.Anastacio and Isaia~ P. CarvalhQ-havepubli~hecl·,··happygathet:1ngofseveral nishgipscJ iolar~: Maria CLaraBonetti
"A Sfndrome da'CadelaRosada'l=in Gener o e Repr .esent a~ iio' Paro, Maria Lucia Milleo Martins, NeilBesrier, .andmyself.
em Lit er at ur as de Lit lgt ld ' Inglesa, editedbyAnaLuciaGazella,
et at (Belo Horizonte: FALE/UFMC},2002). ".. -, ,'F l'otit Ouro Preto;. Ipse Alberto Nemer. repott1)that Siizabefu ",'
.Bishop's house, Casa.Marlana, continues to receive' a steady
, , Thepllblication9fNeilBesrier'stran$lati6nofC.a1·rh~nOliveira'{ "flQw',ofvisitors' fromboth B~azil aridabroad. .Arecetit visitor '
biography, of Bishop; Flor es Rar as e Banallsslmas (Rutgers" 'has b:een: Sofi 'IJ ail, a young Fulbright fellow, who speaks
UP, 200+), was a very important event, as itis the first work , Portuguese beautifully ar;,td-is currentlyreseerchmgln Rio de
about Bishop. by 'aB.riiZ ilian to bepublished iI ithe U.S,. The, ,J aneiro under.Paulo Henriques Britto's supervision, "
book has won a Stonewall Award: and liasbeen nom,inatedfor,
Wint er 2002 Volume 9! Number 2 . The Elizabet h Bishop Bullet in